BACK STAGE AT PEPPERMINT IGUANA HQ: Gigs, Festivals, Parties, CDs, Books, Protests, travels, photography and Cardiff City FC

Friday, January 05, 2007

HEALING OF THE NATION: Earth Doctor sends sonic prescription

The Earthdoctor carrying out some healing in his surgery

A very cool and almost unexpected package arrived at Iguana HQ today, a Dj mix by Mid Wales DJ guru The Earth Doctor.

I first met the Doctor (AKA Dr Funkenstien AKA Les) over ten years ago, back when the Peppermint Iguana was first born. The mighty Zion Train went out of their way to put us in touch with each other, knowing that we both lived in Wales and had similar interests. Since then we have probably only met about 30 times (completely random guess) but we have always hit it off. The dude is a true gentleman.

When I first met him he was DJing, together with his friend Gini Wade, under the guise of Dr Funkenstien. The name had to change after a while and he became The Earth Doctor. Not only does he DJ, at festivals, clubs and parties all over the UK, but he also runs the Dragon Collective “a voluntary organisation based in mid-Wales, interested in all aspects of the music scene and related Visual & Performance Arts; responsibilities include event organisation and promotion, workshop organisation”. The only time I have actually made an effort to get to an event that he had put on was when he put on a couple of shows by the now sadly demised Electric Groove Temple, but he has been putting on some pretty wicked shows by big names on the scene tucked away in the Mid Wales mountains where just about no-one else would ever think of putting on gigs.

Despite me not making as much of an effort as I should to get to his gigs, we meet up anyway because he just seems to get booked for events that I go to anyway, Shambala Festival, Workhouse Festival, the Green Fields area of Glastonbury and Zion Train gigs to name just a few. He is due to be DJing in Cardiff for the Sick Note 12 hour ‘Phone in Sick’ party at the end of this month.

We have always kept in touch but since my ventures into My Space recently, there has been a slight upsurge in communication. He recently offered to send me a mix CD. I jumped at the chance, I love those funky, dubby, global, jazzy, chilled out techno beats he transmits. He warned me it would take a while so I resigned my self for a bit of a wait.

Then yesterday, about a week after he had offered, I got home from work to find a card from the postie telling me I had a package that was too big for the letterbox waiting for me. Now I normally wait till after work the following day to pick these sorts of things up, but decided to head over before work so I could have a listen to the disc while I was sat in the rush hour traffic into Cardiff.

The postie spent ages trying to find where it had been put and when he eventually found it my eyes popped out of my head. Not the Jiffy bag I had been expecting, but a f@ckin' big box! Polystyrene packing flew everywhere as I ripped into it eager to see what was inside. Not one disc, but TEN of the f@ckers… and one of them was a double! What a dude this man Earthdoctor is!

I was blocking the entrance to the sorting office so I did not have time to mess about, I just chucked on ‘Riverbed’, a chilled out mix, and headed straight for the ‘diff. As I was heading down the A470 I could feel myself being transported to Café Tango in Glastonbury, I could taste the vegan organic carrot cake and smell the bud. I was gutted to find that the traffic was light and I did not get stuck in any traffic jams; bloody typical.

Not had a chance to listen to them all yet, but hidden amongst the new, exciting and exotic sounding band names like Noiseshaper, Dr Rubberfunk, Rasboras Dub tribe and Twilight Circus, there are a few familiar names like Juno Reactor, Plump DJs, Gregory Isaacs, Kava Kava and, of course, Zion Train; so I think I can work out that there are themes, like a chill out discs, dub discs, funky discs, Asian beat disc and banging trance disc. I am dribbling just thinking about it all.

As it happens I am off up to Mid Wales next week on business. I will make a point of slapping the volume up to 11 as I head through the mountains in tribute to the legend that is Les. Even after the revolution and we are living in a secular non-hierarchical utopia, I will make sure he is crowned king of the DJ gods.


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